Labour reshuffle LIVE – Keir Starmer sacks Annelise Dodds, Angela Rayner and Nick Brown after Local Elections disaster

SIR Keir Starmer has kicked off his Labour Party reshuffle, demoting the shadow chancellor Annelise Dodds.

The Chief Whip, Nick Brown, has also been removed from the post.

Lisa Nandy is expected to stay in her position as Labour's shadow foreign secretary, according to the BBC.

Angela Rayner, the party’s deputy leader, will now also become the shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Read our Local Elections 2021 live blog below for up to the minute updates…

  • Alice Peacock

    'DESPICABLE ACT OF COWARDICE'

    Labour MP Kim Johnson has said she was "very disappointed" with the way Sir Keir Starmer treated Angela Rayner.

    "Rayner was scapegoated because Keir, after the dismal and disappointing election results, said he was going to take full responsibility," Johnson said.

    "And then to apportion blame to Angie and to sack her from her position was a despicable act of cowardice from my point of view."

    "But, hey, what a difference a day makes – from being sacked to gaining three key positions on the front bench, and I do really look forward to seeing Ange the despatch box against Michael Gove."

    When the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire put to Johnson that “despicable act of cowardice” were strong words, she accepted that they were – but said they were justified. 

  • Alice Peacock

    SOCIAL CARE REFORMS ON THE WAY

    A social care reform plan will be “heading for the statute books” by the end of the year, a senior Government minister has promised.

    Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove’s prediction of having the reforms passing through Parliament within the next seven months is a possible signal the proposals could end up making it into the Queen’s Speech announcement on Tuesday.

    Mr Gove, asked whether the social care overhaul would form part of the Queen’s Speech, told Times Radio: “We’re working to make sure that we have an effective social care plan at the moment. That work is going on.

    “So, by the end of the year you will have a specific social care plan that is heading for the statute books at the very least.

    “We want to make sure that we can get cross-party support for it. That is critical.”

  • Alice Peacock

    STURGEON TELLS THE PM IT IS ‘WHEN NOT IF’ FOR A SECOND INDEPENDENCE VOTE

    Nicola Sturgeon has told the Prime Minister that a second vote on Scottish independence should be a “matter of when – not if”.

    The SNP leader, who has just led her party to a fourth successive Holyrood election victory, made her position clear in telephone call with Boris Johnson.

    It comes after Scotland returned a majority of MSPs supporting independence to Holyrood, with 64 SNP representatives and eight from the Scottish Greens.

    However, Ms Sturgeon and the SNP failed to win an overall majority in the Parliament – with a key ally of Boris Johnson arguing that this showed Scots were not “agitating” for a referendum.

    Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove noted that the current SNP leader “didn’t secure a majority as Alex Salmond did in 2011”, and insisted this was “a significant difference”.

  • Alice Peacock

    BRABIN: ‘POLITICS BETTER WITH WOMEN AT TOP TABLE’

    Labour’s Tracy Brabin, a former Coronation Street actress, said in her victory speech she was “proud” to be West Yorkshire’s first mayor.

    “Growing up on free school meals, in a Birstall council flat, inspired by the Batley Variety Club to pursue life as an actor, I never imagined I would be elected as a Member of Parliament in my home town, let alone be asked to serve as the first ever metro mayor of West Yorkshire,” Ms Brabin said.

    “Our politics are better when women are at the top table.”

  • Alice Peacock

    WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE QUEEN'S SPEECH

    Her majesty the Queen is expected to talk about Boris Johnson's "levelling up" agenda in her speech at the House of Lords tomorrow.

    The speech would mark the 67th time the monarch has opened parliament since November 1952.

    Covid restrictions would make this year a scaled-down affair, in comparison with the occasion on previous years.

    The speech itself would be prepared by No 10, and was expected to be littered with rhetoric on how the PM would spread opportunities across Britain.

    It was also expected to outline plans for Britain's post-Covid recovery.

  • Alice Peacock

    STARMER URGED TO RETURN TO PLEDGES MADE IN LEADERSHIP BID

    Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbott has said there was a “problem with strategy” in Labour and urged Keir Starmer to return to policy pledges he made last year such as abolishing universal credit.

    “What we want is a strategy for winning from this leadership, because it’s clear from what happened over the weekend, particularly what happened in Hartlepool, there’s a problem with the strategy,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today this morning.

    “I would like to see Keir Starmer return to the ten policy pledges that he promised when he ran for the leadership, including abolishing universal credit and putting up taxes on the top 5 per cent," she said.

    “We want to unify the party and return to his ten pledges.”

  • Alice Peacock

    GREAT SCOT

    Michael Gove told Nicola Sturgeon "not now" in her bid for Scottish independence – but left the door open for a future referendum.

    After the SNP fell just short of majority in the Scottish Parliament elections, the Cabinet bigwig swerved questions on whether the Government would use the courts to block her vowed attempt to hold another vote on breaking up the UK.

    But notably he stopped short of outright rejection of another vote in a significant step back – instead he said now was not the time because of Covid.

    He told ITV Scotland it was "not now" for a second vote.

    The SNP fell one seat short of an overall majority during the Super Thursday elections, securing 64 seats in Holyrood.

    Eight seats for the Greens, also pro-independence, paves the way for Scotland to once more hold a vote for independence from Great Britain.

    But many fear the UK government would not give approval to hold a referendum, with Ms Sturgeon making her feelings clear on what that could mean.

  • Alice Peacock

    MUSICAL KEIRS

    Bungling Sir Keir Starmer was last night struggling to reshuffle his top team in the wake of his local elections humiliation.

    The embattled Labour boss has sacked his Shadow Chancellor, Chief Whip and party chairman after the Super Thursday drubbing.

    Rachel Reeves has now been promoted to shadow chancellor as part of Sir Keir’s reshuffle of his top team, with former incumbent Anneliese Dodds relegated to party chairman.

    Deputy leader Angela Rayner, fired as party chairman and elections co-ordinator on Saturday following Labour’s shock Hartlepool by-election defeat, will take Ms Reeves’ former post as shadow chancellor to the Duchy of Lancaster.

    Nick Brown has been replaced as shadow chief whip by Alan Campbell, while Thangam Debbonaire has been moved to shadow Commons leader.

    Nia Griffith, the shadow Welsh Secretary, described the changes as “musical chairs”, admitting: “we would all have liked to have seen things go more smoothly”.

  • Alice Peacock

    STARMER SAYS LABOUR NEEDS TO ‘EMBRACE THE DEMAND FOR CHANGE’

    Announcing the reshuffle, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said his party needed to “embrace the demand for change across our country.

    “That will require bold ideas and a relentless focus on the priorities of the British people.”

    He added: “I look forward to working with our refreshed and renewed team to take on that challenge, deliver that change and build the ambitious programme that will deliver the next Labour government.”

  • Jon Rogers

    RAYNER PLEDGES TO FIGHT TO REFORM LABOUR

    Angela Rayner has pledged to fight to reform the Labour Party and work for "well-paid jobs in every region".

    In a string of Twitter messages she wrote: "I will work tirelessly to reform our Party and deliver a policy agenda that will enable us to reconnect with the voters that we need to win, especially in our traditional heartlands, and show that the Labour Party speaks for the working class. That is our founding mission."

    In another message she said: "I came in to politics as a shop steward standing up for care workers on the minimum wage. In my new roles I will focus on the future of work and the future of our economy, working with our trade union movement to deliver good, well-paid jobs in every region and every community."

  • Jon Rogers

    RAYNER'S NEW ROLE

    Angela Rayner remains the party’s elected deputy leader, and will now also shadow Michael Gove as the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

    She was also given two new titles – shadow First Secretary of State, and shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work.

    A supporter of Ms Rayner told the BBC: "On Friday Keir couldn't answer a simple question about what Labour's vision is, what our offer is and how we will win back the voters in our heartland seats. Angela can answer that question and is the best person to lead the fightback in the Red Wall."

  • Jon Rogers

    STARMER FACES BY-ELECTION WOES AS BRABIN BECOMES WEST YORKSHIRE MAYOR

    Labour MP Brabin, will now have to stand down as Batley and Spen MP – triggering another by-election.

    She received the most first and second preference votes, with a total of 310,923.

    She beat second-place candidate – the Conservative’s Matt Robinson – by 101,786 votes.

    Ms Brabin, who won the contest on her 60th birthday, becomes Labour’s 11th candidate to claim a mayoral post – after 13 elections in cities and metropolitan areas across England.

  • Jon Rogers

    LABOUR AT WAR AS MCDONNELL SAYS BROWN'S SACKING IS 'INEPT'

    The in-fighting within the Labour Party has continued as the former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has described the sacking of Nick Brown as "inept".

    The party's chief whip was dumped by Sir Keir Starmer in his reshuffle of the front bench.

    McDonnell tweeted: "Sacking Nick Brown, one of the most experienced and tactically astute chief whips the party has ever had, is inept in the extreme.

    "This looks like (Lord) Mandelson's revenge."

  • Jon Rogers

    REEVES 'HONOURED' TO BE SHADOW CHANCELLOR

    Rachel Reeves has said she is "honoured" to become Labour's Shadow Chancellor.

    In a Twitter message she wrote: "Honoured to accept the role of Shadow Chancellor.

    "Our economic recovery must be fair. We must transform lives & back businesses in every part of our country.

    "Together we can create the secure jobs & strong infrastructure we need.

    "Everyone deserves a stake in Britain's future."

  • Jon Rogers

    CORBYN WARNS RESHUFFLE WON'T BE ENOUGH TO SAVE LABOUR

    Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has warned a reshuffle by Sir Keir Starmer won't be enough to save the party.

    In an article for the Independent, Mr Corbyn said: "It is new ideas from across our movement – not reshuffles or cosmetic tweaks – that will bring hope back.

    "People deserve the right to vote for a different future. We deserve, and desperately need, wages people can live on and rights at work, safe and secure housing, transport, broadband and energy, properly funded healthcare and education, in an economy that puts the planet before profit, and the needs of the many before the greed of the few."

  • Jon Rogers

    LABOUR'S NEW LOOK SHADOW CABINET

    Sir Keir Starmer's new front bench now looks like this:

    Angela Rayner – Deputy Leader, Shadow First Secretary of State, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work

    Anneliese Dodds – Party Chair & Chair of Labour Policy Review

    Shabana Mahmood – National Campaign Coordinator

    Alan Campbell – Shadow Chief Whip

    Rachel Reeves – Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

    Bridget Phillipson Shadow Chief Secretary to HM Treasury

    Lisa Nandy – Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs

    Nick Thomas-Symonds – Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department

    David Lammy – Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

    John Healey – Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

    Jonathan Ashworth – Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

    Ed Miliband – Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

    Jonathan Reynolds – Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

    Emily Thornberry – Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade

    Kate Green – Shadow Secretary of State for Education:

    Jo Stevens – Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

    Luke Pollard – Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

    Steve Reed – Shadow Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government

    Lucy Powell – Shadow Secretary of State for Housing

    Jim McMahon – Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

    Preet Gill – Shadow Secretary of State for International Development

    Nia Griffith – Shadow Secretary of State for Wales

    Ian Murray – Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland:

    Louise Haigh – Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

    Marsha de Cordova – Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

    Thangam Debbonaire – Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

    Charlie Falconer – Shadow Attorney General

    Rosena Allin-Khan – Shadow Secretary of State for Mental Health

    Wes Streeting – Shadow Secretary of State for Child Poverty

    Cat Smith – Shadow Secretary of State for Young People and Democracy

    Andy McDonald – Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights & Protections

    Angela Smith – Shadow Leader of the House of Lords

    Tommy McAvoy – Opposition Chief Whip in the House of Lords

  • Jon Rogers

    MORE ON LABOUR'S RESHUFFLE

    Wes Streeting has been given a new brief on child poverty.

    Thangam Debbonaire becomes the shadow leader of the House of Commons.

    Shabana Mahmood will become the party’s campaign coordinator.

  • Jon Rogers

    STARMER SAYS LABOUR NEEDS TO 'EMBRACE THE DEMAND FOR CHANGE'

    Announcing the reshuffle, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said his party needed to "embrace the demand for change across our country.

    "That will require bold ideas and a relentless focus on the priorities of the British people."

    He added: "I look forward to working with our refreshed and renewed team to take on that challenge, deliver that change and build the ambitious programme that will deliver the next Labour government."

  • Jon Rogers

    MORE ON LABOUR'S RESHUFFLE

    Sir Kier Starmer launched his reshuffle in the wake of Labour's poor performance in England's local elections.

    Chief whip Nick Brown has been dumped and will be replaced by Alan Campbell.

    A spokesman for Mr Brown said: "Nick thinks it's a reasonable time for Nick to move on. He and Keir have parted on good terms, with mutual respect.

    "He wishes Keir and the new chief whip ever success."

  • Jon Rogers

    STARMER KICKS OFF LABOUR'S RESHUFFLE

    Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer has started his party reshuffle, the shadow chancellor, Annelise Dodds, is being demoted to become chair of the Labour Party.

    Angela Rayner, the party’s deputy leader, will now also be the shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

    Rachel Reeves has been appointed as shadow chancellor, replacing Anneliese Dodds.

    Lucy Powell has been promoted to the shadow cabinet to oversee housing.

  • Jon Rogers

    TORIES GAIN SHERWOOD FOREST

    Sherwood Forest (Nottinghamshire) council result:

    Con: 54.5% (+11.5)

    Lab: 39.9% (-13.6)

    Grn: 4.3% (+4.3)

    Oth: 1.3% (+1.3)

    Conservatives gain from Labour

  • Jon Rogers

    BRABIN: 'POLITICS BETTER WITH WOMEN AT TOP TABLE'

    Labour’s Tracy Brabin, a former Coronation Street actress, said in her victory speech she was "proud" to be West Yorkshire’s first mayor.

    “Growing up on free school meals, in a Birstall council flat, inspired by the Batley Variety Club to pursue life as an actor, I never imagined I would be elected as a Member of Parliament in my home town, let alone be asked to serve as the first ever metro mayor of West Yorkshire,” Ms Brabin said.

    “Our politics are better when women are at the top table.”

  • Jon Rogers

    LOCAL ELECTIONS 2021 – THE WINNERS AND LOSERS (PART 5)

    ENGLAND LOCAL COUNCILS

    Losers

    In stark contrast to the party's performance in the mayoral elections and in Wales, Labour's losses at the local council elections in England have thrown the party into turmoil.

    Leader Sir Keir Starmer sacked Angela Rayner from her role as party chair after announcing he was "bitterly disappointed" with the results, and he will be reshuffling his shadow cabinet team on Sunday.

    Ms Rayner's sacking sparked criticism from Labour's left, including former shadow chancellor John McDonnell, while previous leader Mr Corbyn suggested Sir Keir's Labour Party was "offering nothing" to voters.

    The party's losses included Southampton City Council.

    WINNERS

    In an unprecedented move for a party in power for more than a decade, the Tories had 12 net council gains in England and more than 280 seats.

    Many of the party's wins in England were snatched from Labour – which made a net loss of six councils and more than 220 seats – including Amber Valley, Harlow and Southampton.

    The Conservatives also took control of some councils such as Cannock Chase for the first time.

    Labour did make some gains – including Geoff Saul narrowly winning a county council seat from the Conservatives in Chipping Norton, in the affluent Cotswold area where former prime minister David Cameron lives.

    The Liberal Democrats also gained one seat compared with the last elections after taking control of St Albans, with party leader Sir Ed Davey set to make an appearance in the Hertfordshire town to celebrate.

  • Jon Rogers

    LOCAL ELECTIONS 2021 – THE WINNERS AND LOSERS (PART 4)

    WALES

    Winners

    Labour have come out top in the Senedd by winning 30 seats – just one short of a majority – equalling its best ever election result.

    Welsh Labour put the "extraordinary set of results" down to the cautious approach during the coronavirus pandemic taken by First Minister Mark Drakeford, who has since called on Boris Johnson to "reset relationships" with the devolved nations.

    Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also heralded Mr Drakeford's re-election as "showing socialist values win in Wales" in a tweet.

    Losers

    High-profile former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood lost her Rhondda seat to Labour's Buffy Williams – though the party now has 13 seats in the Welsh Parliament.

    On her Facebook page, Ms Wood said the result was "disappointing" but that her team could "hold our heads high in the knowledge that we ran a clean and honest campaign, we did not denigrate our opponents and we worked hard".

  • Jon Rogers

    LOCAL ELECTIONS 2021 – THE WINNERS AND LOSERS (PART 3)

    Scottish Parliament

    Winners

    The SNP claimed victory over the Tories in the Holyrood elections, and Nicola Sturgeon hailed their triumph as signalling the country's demand for a second independence vote.

    At 64 seats, the SNP was one shy of a majority, but placed them well ahead of the Tories who gained 31 seats and Labour who won 22.

    New Glasgow Kelvin constituency MSP Kaukab Stewart also made Holyrood history as the first woman of colour to be elected to the Scottish Parliament – something she described as "an honour".

    Losers

    Alex Salmond failed this time round in his bid to return as an MSP for the recently formed Alba Party, which won just 8,269 votes.

     

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